Sunday, July 10, 2011

Welcome Julie!


Here's a doll I never thought I would own:  Julie!
Isn't she pretty?

I never thought I would own Julie for a few reasons.  Number One, I didn't feel like buying any new dolls until I completed the collections for the American Girls I have.  Number Two, I'm running out of doll rooms for the dolls!  I broke down and bought her because she was such a good price.  $40 for her and her meet accessories!  She was advertised locally on craigslist for $60, and I emailed the lady and told her that I couldn't spend $60 on a doll right now, but if she didn't get a better offer, I'd give her $40.  I didn't really expect to get her, but I thought it was worth a shot.  Two days later, she called me, and accepted my offer. 

I met her at Ikea to pick her up, and when I did, the little girl said she was worried that Julie would be sitting on a shelf all the time, and her mom said, "Don't worry, I'm sure she'll have LOTS of friends where she's going!" HAHAHAHAHA!! I told her not to worry, she would be very well taken care of, and have lots of friends.

I should also note that my mom tried to steal Julie from me.  This is the only doll my mom has ever had an interest in, I think because my mom grew up in the 70's.  I will have to guard her carefully.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Top Ten Recalled/Controversial Dolls


I started thinking today about the Snacktime Cabbage Patch Kid (random, I know), and I decided to compile a top ten list of recalled or controversial dolls.  Most of these are strictly from my own memory, so if you have any to add, please feel free to do so in the comments!

1.  Snacktime Cabbage Patch Kid -- 1996
This one had to be number one just because it's what got me thinking about writing this post.  This doll came out in 1996 and was all the rage, until parents realized that children's fingers and hair were getting "eaten" by the dolls.  If I remember correctly, a few children even had bald patches on their heads from the doll chewing their hair out.  The doll was tested and was not recalled by the CPSC, but Mattel did voluntarily recall the doll.

2.  Earring Magic Ken -- 1994
I rate this one at number two because I actually have one!  How exciting!  I don't believe this doll was actually recalled, although some stores most likely pulled it from their shelves.  The big controversy here was that Ken was perceived as gay, and many parents didn't find that appropriate for a children's plaything.  As I remember, they actually became hard to find after the controversy began because they became popular with collectors and the gay community.

3.  Butterfly Art Barbie -- 1999
This Barbie was controversial and was pulled voluntarily by Mattel.  I think the name says it all, Barbie had tattoos and parents did not feel this was appropriate.

4.  Growing Up Skipper -- 1975
Growing Up Skipper was controversial because she grew breasts!  I do not have a photo of her, but she remains very easy to find on the secondary market.  You can purchase one in decent condition for around $10.

5.  Pregnant Midge -- 2002
I honestly can't say why this was such a problem, other than Americans are very uptight.  Midge was controversial because of her pregnant belly and her baby inside.  Again, parents not thinking something was appropriate for children.  She was pulled from stores shelves amid complaints.

6.  Sky Dancers Flying Dolls -- 1994
These dolls were legitimately recalled by the CPSC.  The dolls were flying dolls, but they flew uncontrollably, and many people reported eye, teeth, and other facial injuries.  Doesn't sound like a very fun doll to me! 

7.  Joey Stivic Doll -- 1976
Joey Stivic was the first anatomically correct doll.  'Nuff said.  I don't have a photo of him either, but he is very affordable on the secondary market.

8.  AA Oreo Fun Barbie -- 1997
I actually have this doll as well, except in the white version.  The problem with this doll is that here, in America, the word "Oreo" is used a derrogatory term towards African Americans, and so the dolls were recalled by Mattel.

9.  Baby Alive Doll -- 1973
This doll was recreated several times throughout the years.  I had one when I was younger in the late 80's.  The reason the original version was recalled was due to mold and mildew growing inside the doll, which was caused by the "food" she ate.  This made some children sick, and so the doll was recalled.

10.  Bebe Gloton--2009
This doll was released in Spain, but created a stir here in the United States as many parents thought it was inappropriate.  My opinion?  Breastfeeding is a natural part of life, and I don't find anything wrong with it.

The clear winner in all of this is Barbie.  She is one envelope pushing lady!  The good thing about Barbie though, is she has just been "controversial" as opposed to actually being dangerous to children.  Do you have any of the recalled dolls here?  Do you know of any other dolls that have been recalled?

An Ink Treatment for Francie (of the Barbie Variety)


A few people have asked me how to remove ink from vinyl, so I decided to document this latest doll and do a short tutorial.

Here is the ink spot
This is the treatment I use.  I find the Equate brand from Walmart works better than any other brand.  I don't know why, but it just works better.
I put the cream directly on the ink spots and then wrap in cling wrap.  The cling wrap keeps the paste from drying out, so that it will continue to bleach out the ink.

Here she is, ink free.

This whole process took about one week.  I just left her sitting in her chair by the window enjoying the sun while the paste did it's job.  When I have used the actual Oxy brand in the past, it has taken almost a month.  The Equate brand works faster, in my opinion.  You have to be careful about leaving the paste on too long, because it is possible that it will bleach the actual vinyl of your doll.  When I first removed Francie's cling wrap, the back of one of her legs was very pale in comparison to the rest of her leg, but after about 2 days, the vinyl had returned to its normal color.  If you notice your vinyl does this, immediately remove the paste and give it a couple of days to return to color.  I'm not sure why/how this works, but it does. 

Good luck removing ink from your precious dollies!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Quick Trip to Charleston


Afner and I decided to take a quick, inexpensive trip to Charleston, SC this past week.  I have a friend who lives there and we stayed at his apartment, and spent a few days enjoying all the beauty of Charleston.  Of course, I took my girls along and introduced them to one of the finest cities in the South.

The first day, we went to the Isle of Palms and spent a day on the beach.
Sonali says hi from the Isle of Palms!

Sonali and Ginny sitting in front of our setup

No swimming!

Later that evening, we washed all the sand off and went into Charleston to see the city at night.

Ginny posing near Rainbow Row 
In front of the Charleston Harbor.  In the background, you can see Fort Sumter, which is where the first shots of the Civil War were fired.  Not a proud moment for SC, but a historical site nonetheless.

Ginny sitting on top of a cannon from Fort Sumter at the Battery

We spent the rest of the night looking for ghosts, but we didn't find any, much to our disappointment.  Better luck next time!